MANILA - President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. has certified as urgent House Bill 4488 or the proposed 2023 national budget, paving the way for the House of Representatives to approve it on second and third reading on the same day.
Marcos certified to the necessity of the passage of HB 4488 in a letter dated Sept. 16 addressed to Speaker Martin Romualdez, his cousin. The latter's office received a copy of the document Monday.
The president said the certification was issued “in order to address the need to maintain continuous government operations following the end of the current fiscal year, strengthen efforts to respond more effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic, and support initiatives towards national economic recovery.
The 2023 National Expenditure Program amounts to P5.268 trillion, which, according to the bill, is anchored on the theme, "Agenda for Prosperity: Economic Transformation Towards Inclusivity and Sustainability".
Section 26, Article 6 of the Constitution states, “No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members three days before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency."
"Upon the last reading of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal", it reads further.
Section 58 of the House Rules also similarly states: “No bill or joint resolution shall become law unless it passes three (3) readings on separate days and printed copies thereof in its final form are distributed to the Members three (3) days before its passage except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency.”
The House intends to finish its plenary deliberations on the proposed 2023 budget in two days, after which it will go on congressional break until November 6.